Why everyone should consult an Estate Planning LawyerOct 23, 2014
If you only had 24 hours left to live, what would you do? That is a question often asked. Most people might say they’d want to spend their final hours with their loved ones – but what then? Without estate planning, you can leave memorable moments but you won’t be able to leave behind a lasting legacy to your family. You can’t secure your property and how your family could benefit from it. This is exactly why everyone should consult an estate planner, sooner than later.
What is Estate Planning?
To put it simply, estate planning is a process that allows you to lay out the terms regarding the control and ownership of your assets, just in case something happens to you. It encompasses legal byways such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, property ownership, designation of beneficiaries and gifts.
Why Do I Need Estate Planning?
Here are the reasons why everyone should consult an estate planner.
- You never know when you’re going to die, that’s the honest truth. Not to scare you, but this is the harsh reality of life. One minute you’re breathing, and in the next you might see your life flashing before your very eyes.
- Death is not your only enemy. You might get into an accident or develop an illness that will render you incapacitated or disabled to a point that you are unable to make decisions or express how you want your property to be managed. In which case, an estate plan can help you manage your affairs through the designation of someone you trust.
- It’s for the good of everyone – including you. An estate plan can also be used to determine how you will be cared for in case of physical disability or incapacity to decide. Moreover, you can use it to entrust your finances and properties to someone besides a relative – like a close friend or someone you feel entitled to – whether in portion or in whole.
- It saves money. Estate planning can protect you and your family from court costs, professional fees, and state taxes which may incur after you die. Depending on current laws, you can minimize or avoid estate taxes, capital gains taxes, and income taxes altogether. Also, you will be able to pass on assets to beneficiaries without having them to go through probate, which is both a lengthy and costly process.
- It protects your assets. An estate plan enables you to protect your beneficiaries and the assets you left them from lawsuits, creditors, divorce, and claims.
Ultimately, the best reason why you should consult an estate planning lawyer is that it will give you peace of mind. By consulting an estate lawyer, you can arrange the distribution of what you have, to who you want, when you want, and how you want it. Some beneficiaries might be incapable of managing large inheritances with a sense of maturity, and you can prevent this consulting an estate planning lawyer who will help you set prerequisites. For example, your children might not be allowed to acquire their shares unless they get good education or reach a certain age.
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